Fuller Picture Emerges of Investigation Into Serial Killer Israel Keyes
ANCHORAGE - The FBI released new details of how Israel Keyes kidnapped and killed 18-year-old Samantha Koenig.
We have to warn you: This information is graphic and disturbing
We now know Koenig was sexually assaulted and asphyxiated by Israel Keyes within hours of her abduction on February 1.
The FBI has released a detailed account of that night, and Anchorage police have released security video footage from the Common Grounds coffee stand on Tudor, where she worked, and from the Home Depot parking lot, where his truck was parked and where he took her by gunpoint.
Now here's where federal authorities and Anchorage police differ on why Keyes picked that coffee stand. APD is not yet saying whether the murder was planned or was an escalation of the robbery of the coffee stand.
But the FBI's account is that Keyes picked Common Grounds because it was open later than other stands and because the snow berm from the record snowfall we had last year was so high and blocked visibility.
The FBI also said Keyes had never seen Samantha before he approached the kiosk that night. Wearing a ski mask, he asked for coffee, and then once he got it, pointed a gun at her and demanded money.
He had her turn off the internal and external lights, then came in and zip-tied her hands behind her back. It all only took 12 minutes.
According to the FBI, Samantha tried to get away.
According to the confession Keyes gave, Samantha tried to run away and he tackled her, and then threatened to shoot her if she tried it again.
The FBI told KTVA he tackled her, making it look like he was drunk and stumbling, and ordered her, at gunpoint, to do the same.
He put her in his truck, seat-belted her and zip-tied her to the seat belt.
Keyes talked to her as little as he could, but said it was just a kidnapping for ransom and convinced her she would be released unharmed if it was paid.
Anchorage police said someone was supposed to pick Samantha up that night.
The FBI said a man showed up to get her just 21 minutes after the abduction. They said the same man missed Keyes by four minutes at the espresso stand two hours later.
Keyes had returned to get her cell phone and the edges of zip-ties he left behind.
The cell phone was important to Keyes.
Keyes sent text messages to Samantha’s boyfriend and to the owner of Common Grounds, attempting to make it appear she had had a bad day and was leaving town for the weekend.
He asked her for her debit card, and she told him it was in the truck she shared with her boyfriend. He also asked where her house was and for the PIN number.
During the investigation we saw federal authorities take a shed from the Turnagain home Keyes lived in. Now we know why.
The FBI says that's where Keyes told them he took Samantha.
Keyes bound Samantha in the shed, turning up the radio to muffle any screams, and telling her that he had a police scanner, so he would know if she tried to alert neighbors.
Keyes drove to her house and got the ATM card, and there was confronted by her boyfriend, before driving off.
He drove to an ATM machine to test the PIN number.
He then returned to the shed, and strangled her.
It turns out he left her body there for more than two weeks, while he went on a pre-planned cruise out of New Orleans.
When he returned to Alaska, he went back to the shed and took a photo of Samantha’s body, making it look like she was still alive. With a copy of the Daily News front page from February 13, he typed up a ransom demand for $30,000 on a photocopy of the picture. He placed it on a board posted at Connor’s Bog Park -- a popular dog park off International and Jewel Lake, under a specific memorial flyer, and then texted her boyfriend where to find that note.
Keyes dismembered Samantha’s body.
Once at Matanuska Lake he used a chainsaw to cut a hole in the ice and deposited the remains.
But investigators said they saw activity on Samantha’s ATM card.
They said Keyes continued to use it.
In the end Keyes would not have been caught if he had not continued to use Samantha’s ATM card. Video footage from one ATM stop in the Southwest suggested that whoever had the card was driving a white 2012 Ford Focus.
Based on this tenuous lead, a Texas Ranger went with his gut instincts and pulled Keyes over, finding the card and her cell phone.
Monday we heard audio of Israel Keyes talking to investigators while he was in custody.
Tuesday we received video released by the FBI.
The FBI is releasing that in case anyone might recognize Keyes in relation to outstanding missing persons cases.
Keyes said, "I thought i was smart. I would, um, do it, I would let them come to me. Just a remote area. Kind of a remote area that's not anywhere near where you lived but that other people go to as well. You might not get exactly what you're not much to choose from in a matter of speaking but there's also no witnesses really, nobody else around."
APD Detective Monique Doll said Keyes “broke his own rule” by killing someone in the city where he lived. His mode of operation had been to fly out of state and then drive a long distance to find a victim.
All of this information comes out now, of course, because of Keyes’ suicide over the weekend.
His body was found at 6:30 a.m. Sunday.
KTVA was told by the Department of Public Safety that an autopsy was done Monday, but for some reason the state medical examiner's office still has not chosen to release the cause of death.
A source close to the case says that Keyes was on suicide watch at one point and then was taken off. A spokesperson for the Department of Corrections said there would be no reaction to that statement because of the ongoing investigation by troopers.